Libra Sep 24, 1936 Greenville Actor, Director, Producer and Writer
James Maury "Jim" Henson was an American puppeteer, artist, cartoonist, inventor, screenwriter, actor, film director and producer. Born in Greenville, Mississippi and raised in Leland, Mississippi and Hyattsville, Maryland, he began developing puppets while attending high school. While he was a freshman at the University of Maryland, College Park, he created Sam and Friends, a five-minute sketch-comedy puppet show that appeared on television. After graduating from the University of Maryland, with a degree in home economics, he produced coffee advertisements and developed experimental films. Feeling the need for more creative output, Henson founded Muppets, Inc., which would later become The Jim Henson Company, in 1958.
He became famous in the 1970s when he joined the children's educational television program Sesame Street, and there helped developed characters for the series. He also appeared in the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. In 1976, after scrapping plans for a Broadway show, he produced The Muppet Show. He won fame for his creations, particularly Kermit the Frog and Ernie, and he was involved with the Jim Henson Company for 21 years. He also had frequent roles in Muppets films such as The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper, and created advanced puppets for projects like Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth. During the later years of his life, he also founded the Jim Henson Foundation, and Jim Henson's Creature Shop. He won two Emmy Awards for his work on The Storyteller and The Jim Henson Hour.